TCD Interview: Denard Span

Prior to the Minnesota Twins/ New York Yankees on Monday night, leftfielder Denard Span sat down with for an interview. The speedy outfielder discussed a number of topics, including being a first rounder, the 2009 season, and breaking the sophomore jinx. All that and much more. The last time we saw you, we were interviewing you when you were a member of the New Britain Rock Cats. Tell our readers how you feel your season is going so far.

Denard Span: Things have been going really well. We have had a really good start to the season, and although we are under .500, I feel things are going in the right direction. As for me, I could not be happier with my start. I have been working hard on some things, and it is nice to see that work pay off. I know, I saw you watching film before I approached you. What kind of things were you watching?

Span: I was watching video of Andy Pettitte (tonight's starting pitcher). Those are the kinds of things that have really helped my game thus far. He is a great pitcher, so I have been trying to pick up some things. Is it weird facing a guy like Pettitte, who you probably saw win some World Series when you were growing up?

Span: Yeah, that is kind of a weird thing. I believe I was in high school or something when they were winning it every year. But you cannot really base your at-bats on who somebody is. You have to have the same approach and work on your at-bats, whether it is a seasoned veteran like Pettitte, or a young guy who is just breaking into the league. Some players fall victim to a Sophomore jinx, but you have done very well this season. You came up last season and really provided a spark for the team. Were you worried at all about your second season?

Span: You hear a lot of that talk when you come into your second season with a team. I repeated in Rochester so I know what it is like going into a season when you know pitchers have already seen you. The difference is that this is the Major Leagues, and these pitchers are hard enough to figure out. I did not have a very good Spring Training, so there was a lot of talk about that. I just basically worked on what I needed to work on, and let things happen. As a former first rounder, what is it like making it to the Major Leagues, and being successful?

Span: It is always nice to get here, no matter what round you were selected in. What is nice about being a first rounder, is that you feel that you have made the organization proud. They take you in the first round, and it is like you have come through on their investment. You were in the middle of a four-way battle for outfield spots during the Spring and early season. Do you feel glad knowing that you have pretty much been a constant in the lineup all season?

Span: Yeah, it feels good to play everyday. The thing is that those other three guys are great players too. I am just glad I can help the team in any way I can. You are batting leadoff today. Is that where you feel most comfortable?

Span: Definitely. I hit lead off for most of my career, and have been doing it for all six years in the Minor Leagues. I have grown accustom to taking pitches, working counts, and learning how to hit in the leadoff spot. I am very comfortable starting off a game at the plate. It is all about being a table-setter for the rest of the team.

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